Apple made one big announcement at the keynote of World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2021 that it will now allow FaceTime for Android and Windows users. This news immediately made people make assumptions that Apple’s FaceTime will now compete with Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and others.
Apple opening FaceTime calls to Android and Windows users is definitely a big development given Apple makes a concerted effort to keep every service and product bound inside it’s iOS wall. But before you get all excited thinking that you can use FaceTime on your Android phone note that there are certain things Apple did not reveal. Here’s what you need to know.
Android and Windows users will only be able to access FaceTime calls over web
Apple is only allowing FaceTime calls for Android and Windows users over the web. Apple iPhone users will be able to create and share links to FaceTime calls with Windows and Android users over messages, email, WhatsApp or any other platform. On the other hand, Android and Windows PC users will have to join the FaceTime call by accessing the link on their internet browser. Thankfully, Apple mentioned that all FaceTime calls will be end-to-end encrypted.
Zoom and Microsoft Teams have dedicated apps for Android, Windows and iOS. Google Meet doesn’t have a Windows app but there are dedicated apps for both Android and iOS. Also, Google makes it very easy for any Gmail users to access Google Meet. Both Zoom and Microsoft Teams offer a range of features in their respective apps and the experience may not be the same while using FaceTime on a browser.
Only iPhone users can make FaceTime calls to Android, Windows users
You cannot start a FaceTime call without having an iPhone. Android and Windows users can only accept FaceTime calls made from an iPhone but they cannot make them. So, if an Android or Windows user needs to contact someone using an iPhone, he or she will have to stick to Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams.
Apple has added a bunch of features to FaceTime to improve call quality with spatial audio support, voice isolation feature, grid view and more Zoom-like features. These may cause Android users to get attracted to buying an iPhone. But Apple is in no way trying to compete with Zoom or others at least now. Unless FaceTime becomes an open app for everyone to use, it will just be meant for iPhone users and they will eventually have to use Zoom, Google Meet and others to communicate with people outside the iOS bubble.
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